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‘Silicon Valley is ethically lost’: Google grapples with reaction to its new ‘horrifying’ and uncanny AI tech – Financial Post (Mark Bergen | May 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on June 8, 2018
 

The most talked-about, futuristic product from Google’s developer show isn’t even finished yet — and Google hasn’t agreed how to do it.

After watching the demo you might be left wondering: How long until large-scale telephone surveys are conducted by digital assistants? How should we handle disclosure/deception? Should the assistant be named in the research output?

At its I/O conference on Tuesday, Alphabet Inc.’s Google previewed Duplex, an experimental service that lets its voice-based digital assistant book appointments on its own. It was part of a slate of features, such as automated writing in emails, where Google touted how its artificial intelligence technology saves people time and effort. In a demonstration on stage, the Google Assistant spoke with a hair salon receptionist, mimicking the “ums” and “hmms” pauses of human speech. In another demo, it chatted with a restaurant employee to book a table. The audience of software coders cheered.
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Outside the Google technology bubble, critics pounced. The company is placing robots in conversations with humans, without those people realizing. The obvious question soon followed: Should AI software that’s smart enough to trick humans be forced to disclose itself. Google executives don’t have a clear answer yet. Duplex emerged at a sensitive time for technology companies, and the feature hasn’t helped alleviate questions about their growing power over data, automation software and the consequences for privacy and work.
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The Case of the Girl from La Noria: Implications for Ethics in Research with Human Remains – Etilmercurio (Por Invitado Especial | April 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on June 5, 2018
 

A recent article describing the whole-genome sequencing of a body of alleged «extraterrestrial» origin according to UFO organisations (1), journalists (2), and other media outlets (3), has initiated an important controversy regarding adherence to scientific, legal and ethical standards for studies involving human skeletal remains. This controversy began with the commentary published by Etilmercurio (4), which was followed by press reports (5,6,7), public statements released by local and international scientific organisations (8,9,10), the authors of the original article (11), and the journal where it was published (12).

Further commentary on this archeological project that prompted a UFO conspiracy and media storm. Do your institution’s guidelines speak to such projects (including legal frameworks in the source country)? We’ve included a link to an earlier item about this case.

The basic issues raised by researchers questioning the article are clearly summarised in a tweet by Professor Tom Higham (School of Archaeology, University of Oxford, UK): «Accepting a human sample sent via TV film crew from a private owner in Spain; not seen or viewed by them – without any checks for provenance or permission, let alone ethical considerations… what were they thinking?». This is exactly what the authors (Nolan and Butte) claimed in their statement, as part of their argument disavowing responsibility, without acknowledging their lack of involvement as the root of the problem.
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In their statement (11), the authors attempted to rebut these claims, identifying an earlier lack of criticism or legal action from the Chilean press and authorities when these remains originally became subject to public attention in 2013. Moreover, they declare to have followed U.S. regulations in this regard, completely ignoring Chilean law.
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(US) ‘Right-to-try’ bill passes Congress – CNN (Michael Nedelman and Jacqueline Howard | May 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on June 3, 2018
 

With a House of Representatives vote Tuesday, Congress passed legislation that could give terminally ill patients a way to independently seek drugs that are still experimental and not fully approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.

Despite being lauded by some politicians (including subsequent to this story President Trump) this law is likely to concern most people involved in human research ethics (it certainly does concern us).

The House voted 250-169 in favor of the bill, which the Senate passed in August. The bill will now be sent to President Trump, who is expected to sign it.
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“This is an extraordinarily great day,” Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly of Indiana, one of the original cosponsors of the bill, said in a press conference after the event. Donnelly said he met with Vice President Mike Pence a few weeks ago and urged him to push for a House vote on the bill.
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Implementing the Tri-Council Policy on Ethical Research Involving Indigenous Peoples in Canada: So, How’s That Going in Mi’kma’ki? (Carla Moore | April 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on May 22, 2018
 

Abstract
The 2010 edition of the Tri-Council Policy Statement on Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans introduced a new chapter, titled “Research Involving the First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples of Canada.” The goal of our study was to explore how this chapter is being implemented in research involving Mi’kmaw communities in Nova Scotia. Qualitative data from four groups—health researchers, research ethics board representatives, financial services administrators, and Mi’kmaw community health directors—revealed that while the chapter is useful in navigating this ethical space, there is room for improvement. The challenges they encountered were not insurmountable; with political will from the academy and with guidance from Indigenous community health and research leaders solutions to these barriers can be achieved.

Moore, C. , Castleden, H. E. , Tirone, S. , Martin, D. (2017). Implementing the Tri-Council Policy on Ethical Research Involving Indigenous Peoples in Canada: So, How’s That Going in Mi’kma’ki?. The International Indigenous Policy Journal, 8(2) . Retrieved from: http://ir.lib.uwo.ca/iipj/vol8/iss2/4 DOI: 10.18584/iipj.2017.8.2.4
Publisher (Open Access): https://ir.lib.uwo.ca/iipj/vol8/iss2/4/

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